Monday, September 21, 2009

Calculations of War: Which Risk is Reasonable

Clark Hoyt, the Public Editor of the New York Times has written an editorial in response to criticism directed at reporter, Stephen Farrell for venturing into dangerous territory in pursuit of a story in Afghanistan. The debate has been prevalent in the British press, where they went as far as questioning whether Farrell had been "too grand" to take a safer route and embed with the British or American military. Hoyt brings up an excellent point about how embedding does not always eliminate the risk.

Personally, I abhor a recent headline in The Daily Mail of London which read "Journalist's lust for glory and a risk too far." However, I have mixed feeling about the risk that reporters take. There is a definite need to venture into these dangerous areas of the world to fully understand a story, and I am in awe of reporters that do this. At the same time, the price to pay for such a story could be the reporters and crews lives. As Hoyt aptly puts it, "...even with the best precautions, covering war can exact horrible costs.

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